Centrality of the Church to the Christian – Pt 4, Support

The Church is not merely a building, or a congregation that meets on Sunday morning, but it is a thriving community, a web of support for many areas of the Christian’s life.

And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
(Act 2:44 KJVA)

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
(Act 4:32 KJVA)

This is not the institutional communism proposed by Lenin and others in Soviet Russia, but a deep seat feeling that the new body of Christ was one that was fitly framed together, so when one is in need, all are in need. Luke says that the Church was of one heart and because of these, they held those possessions as common, meaning that when one member was in need, someone else stepped in with some measure of support.

In Acts chapter 6, we see that the service ministry of the Church had grown so large as to require a new office in the Church, that of Deacon, and that that office should be charged with serving the people in the physical needs. Further, in Peter and Jude, the reference is made to a feast of charity, a habit of the early Church i bringing food to the poor among them. This was not charity as we think it, and it rightly should be called love, but a dinner among brothers and sisters, equal.

Paul said,

Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with indignation?
(2Co 11:29 NET)

Showing us the fullest extent of the Christian union with one another. In another letter, the most personal of all of Paul’s letter, he tells Philemon,

Hearing of your love towards the saints and of your faith which you have in the Lord Jesus. I pray that the communion of your faith will work good things when you understand your full capacity for good in the cause of Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and comfort from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
(Phm 1:5-7 CTV-NT)

We have a great capacity for good, the Church, when our faith is in communion (sharing) one with another. A good many times the Church is looked on as being a collection of individual Saints instead of a single community of believers. What hurts one, as Paul says, hurts all. When one falls, we loose a part of us, a deep cut. The Church provides a support system for those that are hurting in one way or another.

Our mission is to bring the gospel to a hurting world, but it seems a good many times we forget that a central part of the Church to the Christian is the healing of the Saint, and indeed the health and welfare of the Church members. Paul was a great one to constantly encourage the members of the Church, not just in doctrine, but in spiritual health as well.

To all who are called saints, beloved of God, who are in Rome – Grace and peace to you from God our Father and Lord, Jesus Christ. First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, that your faith is proclaimed and celebrated throughout the entire world. For God, whom I sacredly serve in my spirit as a minister of the gospel of his son, is my witness that I unceasingly make remembrance of you, Always in my prayers, imploring that by the will of God I might be prospered to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may share with you some spiritual gift, that you may be more steadfastly strengthened — Rather, that is, that I may also be encouraged together with you, through our mutual faith.
(Rom 1:7-12 CTV-NT)

To the Romans he wished to impart and to take something from then, a refreshing in the spirit. We can find strength in the love of the brethren when it seems that we are at our weakest.

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.
(Php 1:3-7 NKJV)

Again, Paul is writing to a group of believers that have taken a special action to support him in his ministry and he returns their favor.

So, let us hold all things common – both the good and the bad – so that we may uplift others and have them up lift us.

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0 Replies to “Centrality of the Church to the Christian – Pt 4, Support”

  1. This is not the institutional communism proposed by Lenin and others in Soviet Russia, but a deep seat feeling that the new body of Christ was one that was fitly framed together, so when one is in need, all are in need. Luke says that the Church was of one heart and because of these, they held those possessions as common, meaning that when one member was in need, someone else stepped in with some measure of support.

    I don’t understand the qualification “some measure of support.” Acts 4 and 5 seem clear that within the Church there was only communal property. In v34 and especially 5:4 we find that those who sold land were expected to give all of the proceeds to the Church. Note Peter’s accusation: “Didn’t [the land] belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?” Why would he ask this if it was not the expectation that all of the money would be given to the Apostles and not just what Ananias and Sapphira chose to donate? You seem to be reading “but they had all things common” in a metaphorical sense when it appears quite literal.

    I’m not suggesting that the Church of Acts was specifically Leninist. But it seems clear that the Church of Acts was communist in the sense of lacking private property.

  2. By ‘some measure of support’ I meant up to the needs of the individual or the community. No, the Church was not Leninist, but I do think that it existed in a form of pressured Socialism. I do not think that this Godly communism is a doctrine, but an example. I believe that what we can gain from it is that the Church, as a community, must provide for one another in need. In certain areas of the world, a communal Church is necessary, while many times in the West, we are able to have private property, but when we do, we must possess it in such a way as to give God the glory and to provide those those among us in need.

    To gain merchandise simple for the sake of gain does nothing for the Church, but to gain these worldly things in order to provide help and give God the glory is something that should be done.

    I am not reading the passage in a metaphorical sense, but applying the lesson of then to the needs of the news.

    Thank you for the comment.

  3. Thank you for a well-reasoned response. It does make me curious, however, how you determine whether this “pressured Socialism” is doctrine or example (and if example, how you choose whether to follow it or not)? My reading of this site seems to indicate that the Church of Jesus Christ intends to be the continuation of the Church of Acts and based exclusively on Biblical instruction (doctrines 1 and 2). So do you continue to hold “all things in common” as in the Biblical example? Or do church members claim that any of their possessions are their own? Is the treatment of property in your own community based on Acts or some other New Testament example?

  4. ‘Pressured Socialism’ in my sense is a communal life that is prompted (pressured) by outside influences, such as the persecution that the early Church faced. Throughout the New Testament we have commandments and doctrine as well as examples. The Apostle Paul said in several instances that the things that he spoke were of himself, but by permission from God. I believe that these examples are not doctrine, and thus not commanded, but should be followed in every was possible.

    If a congregation in any part of the world faces dire straights such as famine or persecution, it should follow the example of the early Church in communing what little the community might have so that no member is without. In chapter 5, when learn that communal sharing of property was not doctrine (as the money was theirs until they decided to share it. The sin was not the withholding, but the lie) but once you, as an individual, decide to do it, it must be done completely.

    What we hold in common now is the needs of the individual saints. Granted, we live in the West (USA), but for those members in need, we must find ways to provide for them. If it meant giving up a piece of my property (car, money, food) then I am required to do so. Personally, I do not feel that you have to be a member to receive help. We are commanded to love our neighbors as well.

  5. It is noteworthy that you point to how Paul notes when he is speaking his opinion. Luke makes no such note in this section to indicate that this is something that would apply only in cases of famine or persecution. That sounds like projecting our own desires onto the text rather than reading its clear meaning. And if the examples should be followed in every way possible, communal living is certainly still possible even in the USA, command or not. I understood that a central doctrine (#2) of the Church of Jesus Christ was to continue the one Biblical Church.

    I disagree with the implication of “the sin was not the withholding, but the lie.” Look at the nature of the “lie” in Acts 5:3. Ananias hasn’t said a word at this point. The fact that he brought the money clearly implied that he was giving everything and holding back nothing, or else it could not have been a lie? How else do we make sense of v3-4? It was only a lie because to give everything was the expectation; Ananias didn’t need to say a word. To imagine it another way, consider if I were to sell some land and bring the money to a pastor today. Without me saying a word, I hand him the check and he asks “You haven’t kept anything for yourself have you?” I think I would be rightly shocked that a pastor would ask such a question, but this is what Peter says to Ananias. I don’t think we can take the death of Ananias as only the punishment for “putting on airs.” I think we have to look at both “you have lied to the Holy Spirit *and* have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land” as the cause. How is even possible to “lie” to God? While Ananias clearly did control the money, I think it difficult to interpret “wasn’t the money at your disposal?” in any way but “since it was in your disposal (not owed to someone else), you were supposed to give it to the church rather than keep it for yourself.”

    Thank you for you kind and thoughtful responses. I’m trying to understand the criteria you use to apply this guide only to others, but not to yourself and your community. Is there another post-Pentecost passage that balances this one, showing that Christians should have their own property in cases when they are not poor and persecuted? Is there any other authority that Christians can use to properly interpret this passage?

  6. The mention that I make of Paul is that he allows himself to speak with permission, while knowing that it is not a commandment. Paul wrote letters; Luke wrote history. The difference is that Luke was not there to deliver the same message as Paul, but that the gospel writer simply what happened. Although Luke wrote commands, they were in the mouth of a historical figure. Paul, on the other hand, issued commandments directly from himself, in his own words.

    I believe that your interpretation involves thoughts that are not expressed in Scripture. Taking the passage for what it is, Ananias brought the money (a promise) to the Apostles. Judging from Peter’s statement, Ananias had intended to bring all of the money and when he did not, the money that he did report became a lie. (You can lie to God; however, He will always know the difference.) Peter said that the land/money was Ananias before and after the sell, but when he attempted to lie to God and withhold his promised part, then the gift became a lie.

    Let’s say I promise the Church that upon the selling of my car, I was to give the entire sum to God. Notice, I didn’t say that I would pay my bills, as that would not be the entire sum. When the transaction is complete, I bring in 99% of the money because I stop and bought some lunch. The entire sum (promise) was not delivered. I lied. Yes, it was a gift in the first place, but in it, when I vowed to God via His Church, and failed to honor that vow completely, I lied.

    As far as I am aware, I am unsure of any other communal property passages. What we have to note also is that Philemon is a letter from Paul to a slave owner. This shows that not every community practiced communal living. Further, in 1st Cor. 11.22, Paul makes mention that the Corinthians each had their own homes. This is an example followed in other communities as well.

  7. But in direct contrast to the New tesament church of the books of Acts, today, too often the church(s) sounds more like the Old boys club with their own false delusions of grander, self importance too.. As far as the Historical Church, argument there is only one, that of the lord Jesus Christ, the Same yesterday, today and forever, and he has no apostolic successors even.. his chosen persons, they are all personally chosen slaves, obedient servants only. Christ is the sole head of the church, the same Jesus that is alive Yesterday, today and forever, . . Most people are not being fooled by the old boys historic argument approach and to me sounds more like immorality, empire building, false pride, job preservation approach.. I too am more impressed by the pastors as to what good they really do, as how many people they pray for and how much of the Bible they practice over what they claim they know or what earthly big wig had approved them..

    Now I Know for certainty and not by my own initial choice that next I was called, gifted equipped by God to Pastor, to the nation of Canada. I know even the exact time and place now too where this happened , and subsequently elders of the Christian Church had laid hands on me too, anointed and prayed for my Ministry, and I have been a pastor even for decades too, I do home, hospital visitations too, community relationships, and many persons receive my messages as from God.. all undeniably too. When I had pastored my own church I asked God what should I call it, and he replied the Church of Christ of Calgary.. I had stated to God many objections as to why I could not pastor next for him, and he replied if gays can be church pastors now so can you..

    and it is not relevant that God supposedly calls now pastors only within the historic, established Christian Churches, Christian community of which I am part of anyway. I definitely belong to the Body of Jesus Christ. God called Apostle Paul and he was not part of the historic community church when he, Saul was called, and who did he give accountability to ? to God directly.

    Contrary to what some try to falsely advocate God can and does call anyone he chooses, even outside of the church, and he specifically calls all his true pastor to pastor any Christian church in the same way that he had called the 12 apostles for a start , or Abraham, Moses..

    But today many or most people in the ministry are not called by God, they are hirelings, false teachers, false preachers, false pastors, for they had selected the ministry on their own without God, and they are doing their own thing, they are false, counterfeits. church,.

    God even further imparts spiritual gifts to these true anointed, called persons by the laying of hands by other anointed God called persons now too in his Church of today. Such is the Holy spirit reality.. not bound by your limitations, non related verses, your views, interpretations and certainly not God’s

    Now as to what you defined a historical church, like the bad Anglican that in rubbish ordains now gay priests.. or as Catholic Church were gay priests abuse others this is still totally demonic.. or the evangelical pastors who too often steal the monies too.

    (1 Cor 9:27 KJV) But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. Even an apostle facing the reality of being a castaway too… http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/false/

    (Micah 3:6 KJV) Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. 7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God. 8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.

    http://groups.msn.com/AFOLLOWEROFCHRIST

    PS: Foolish men from too often cemeteries too try to say that when the Greek comes, it will guide and lead you into all truth.. try the term Holy Sprit, a person , he will guide the true Christian believers into all truth.. even if they do not know the Greek.. and they can also next still today even pray, speak in tongues, in a language they have not learned… he will also lead, instruct them what to say to others.. not solely the Greek..

    (Job 5:13 KJV) He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.

    It was even the Historic Jewish establishment the had even rejected and crucified next their own messiah, Jesus Christ like it seems the Anglican , catholic. rather many churches are also doing these days

    Establishing the Biblical church.. following the New Testament pattern in the book of Acts.. one of my favorite topics.. it cannot be done! Not without having the people, elders, pastors in the church first filled with, Baptized the Holy Spirit, and next also helping the poor people in their own church, instead of robbing, stealing from them..

    http://pbulow.tripod.com/pastors.html

  8. While I don’t find this argument very convincing (particularly 1 Cor 11:22, which seems to me almost desperate) it is the most reasoned rebuttal I’ve seen. I would look to other verses that you take as exemplar of how the church should behave (meeting on Sunday rather than Saturday for instance) and see if these verses are more or less clear than Acts 4-5. I’m not suggesting that meeting on Sunday is mandated, but it is indicated and so it is adopted. I believe communal living has stronger Biblical basis. Two people died over it. God seldom strikes people down over a lie; I think a point is being made about the nature of this specific lie. Yet Biblical socialism/communism is ignored or watered-down. Acts does not say that Christians supported each other with their own resources. It says that Christians gave everything to the Apostles who “distributed to anyone as he had need” or in a later writer’s words “to each according to his needs.”

    Thank you for your thoughts on this. While I don’t agree, I’ve suggested others interested in this topic to read your rebuttal for their own consideration.

  9. as to how the church should be meeting on Sunday rather than Saturday for instance try a comprimise.. I helkd my weekly church servcies on Saturday from 6 pm to midnight.. they were great services and no one wanted to leave..

    Unlike the boring, classical, predicatable man controlled, man led church servcies when the Holy Spirt is allwoed to take control of the services they become lively.. spontaneous, and i have been in sich servcies 5 days a week too, with thousands of young people in one church too..

    If more pastors, pirests, true Christians would pray weekly that their churches, church servcies, and people in it be filled with the Holy Spirt and that God be allowed to run them they would certainly change next for certainty..

  10. >>It says that Christians gave everything to the Apostles who “distributed to anyone as he had need” or in a later writer’s words “to each according to his needs.”

    (Prov 28:25 KJV) He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

    (2 Chr 32:26 KJV) Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

    Have you also noticed that trying to discuss spritual gifts with spiritual fools tends to end up in fights? why??

    The devil always seems to like to challenge Godly truths right away.

    (1 Cor 3:3 KJV) For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

    I make no excuses, as a Christian I read the Bible, and I try to follow it, the teachings and the valid patterns in it.

    Thus I think we all should start giving through the local Christian church as per the pattern undeniably set in the new Testament, unless you are reading and following a different Bible? and we all should also give at the local Home, the local Church too, firstly, even to the local poor people and yes even if you live in Alberta too.. for that is what the Bible says we should clearly regularly do… but that does not stop you from giving more to someone else next too…

    I started to give in my Church. I had helped with a weekly service for the poor, neglected people in my local Calgary church, and fed them freely at the services too….

    So what are the Calgary churches excuses for not helping also to deal with this Calgary poor, Homeless problem? Or are they again wrongfully waiting for someone else to do it? Is it or is it not the church’s Ministry to help poor people like Jesus and the Apostles did? or have the churches in Calgary now rewritten the Gospel, their exclusion of helping all the poor people in Calgary to their own liking? Note Calgary even has the highest rate of homelessness in Canada.

    A person’s attitude to the poor and to money shows in reality a lot of what their Christianity is really like too http://postedat.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/a-36-per-cent-increase/

    I was shocked when I became a real Christian, not a pretend one, how my version of Christianity now differed from so many loudly professing Christians on many issues now as well such as spiritual gifts, helping poor people.

    And I had to really rightfully conclude that the others were not real Christians, were persons who did not read the whole Bible, they were not practicing the truth, the faith according to the New Testament, the whole Bible too but they wrongfully these others they now were preaching, practicing the overly false, simplified Gospel according to them.

    They did this because they were hirelings, false , false teachers false prophets, false pastors, false elders, false evangelists, false deacons, a false Christian.

    God still opposes all Churches, leader’s sins, and their human rights abuses, and the best way to deal with it is to shout it from the housetops, call the police.. expose it to all.. I do.

    >>And there are lots of other charities that help saints overseas. Groups like the Salvation Army have a presence in many nations.

    Dream on..

    I had personally witnessed Salvation army personnel stealing for themselves what the citizens had donated to the poor, and a secretary of the organization next even confirmed it to me.. as I had detailed to major news editors in Canada. We can also know that over 70 percent of the donations tends not to reach the intended persons in most organizations, cause the overheads, corruptions, even for the empire building as well are much too high..

    >>Judas robbed from the treasury, but was it wrong for people to give Jesus and His disciples a donation? Should we all stop giving to groups that are making some effort to help because the targets of the donations only receive 30%? Keep working to expose the corruption, we certainly want the crooks in those groups tossed out. But once you have a better group in place, be sure to let us know.

    As far as a good system to give to the poor.. it is already there in the book of acts.. it is giving to the poor through your local church.. even the old testament tithe insisted that 1/7 of the tithe be given to the local poor people. We all do have a responsibility to give firstly to the poor in our own church, neighborhood through the local church, and that is why the Deacons were set to do this. If the deacons are not doing this.. that is another issue.. and yes still we have a responsibly always still to insure the moneys is not being stolen, even in churches now too.

    (Acts 6:1 KJV) And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables .3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

    (Acts 2:45 KJV) And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (Acts 4:35 KJV) And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

    Galatians 6:10 (New American Standard Bible) 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

    Apostle Paul beyond a shadow of doubt a real Christian, who took all precautions not to give any offence, was honest, trustworthy too.. was definitely also working in helping the poor people in Rome, elsewhere, as part as his Christian Duties too now, so should all Pastors thus now too!

    Rev George Mueller is a classical example of a faith ministry helping poor persons., and this pastor did not live high on the hog in the process too, he was not empire building, or helping himself. Mother Theresa and many others now as well.

    In fact the whole New testament Christian church was helping the Poor Christian persons firstly not just apostle Paul, for they will know we are Christians by how we love one another, not our mere words still too– he Paul was just a delivery boy on behalf of the Christian Church, And all pastors need to help the poor people in their church, all churches too.. Jesus Christ cared for the poor people! yes he fed them, healed them, delivered them too.
    and all very much unlike these days where the evangelical leaders live high on the hog, and their churches especially seems to be too self centered, have falsely abdicated their duties, roles falsely in helping the poor people.. but seem too readily even these days to steal the tithe..

    Undeniably 1/7 of the tithe was to be given directly to the local poor people, can any local evangelical, catholic church , even the cult Mormon prove in fact that they do this? The tithe itself also could not be used for paying of mortgages, nor can any person owning any tangible property- real estate , even supposedly poor person or a Christian worker received any portion of the tithe now as well… just as these same principles are applied to persons receiving social welfare from the governments too.

    The priests themselves in the book of Malachi themselves now by God were rightfully accused of abusing, or stealing God’s tithes , and that happens too often theses days now still in the churches. I had many an evangelical pastor tell me they would kick me out of their church if I preached any of this above in their church too. I have even seen evangelical pastors often steal directly myself and reported it too.

    Yes my main point was the Godly, Biblical pattern for giving to the poor people set forth for giving to the poor people was definitely through the church still, if the LOCAL church is not doing it, it is time to get the LOCAL church in order.

    and I for certainly and now on many, many occasions I do not trust rightfully the Salvation Army to do this, especially since they too often clearly have departed from the faith, and employed ungodly believers to do their work too often too. Nor even the Christian Missionary Alliance church and rightfully as well and I have detailed on my sites why too.

    I had also noted in the past from a study of events and history that the most lasting efforts, contributions were those that involved the Church directly… which now includes shelters, hospital and university too and worldwide. Famous university, hospitals were originally started by Christian organizations, churches, in Canada and the US now too, both Catholic and protestant ones too.

    http://postedat.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/the-christian-evangelical-corporation-and-social-action/
    http://postedat.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/the-pretender-imposter-wolf-in-sheep-clothing/

    And where local churches who don’t have the infrastructure to help poor people in their church should establish one.. and yes they can send money to another church they can really trust to do this too in another country to help the poor people there.. it is an still unacceptable sin how much too often now the donations are too often abused. We as Christians have to be diligent to see next also how the money is obeying spent, not just in donating it.

    >> In scripture, aid went to the saints according to their need, not location.

    this is a distortion of the truth to me.. all poor people need to be helped, locally firstly.

    (1 Tim 5:8 KJV) But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    (1 Tim 5:9 KJV) Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, 10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

    (Acts 6:3 KJV) Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

    I think that we are to take care of the local poor Christian Brethren in our own church first and even also help the unsaved elsewhere next also does not mean we do stop giving firstly to our own family members.. but just giving to our own family is not enough.. Job also helped everyone he could starting locally person’s attitude to the poor and to money shows in reality a lot of what their Christianity is really like too
    An oversimplification, biblical , Ostrich distortion neglects the rest of what the Bible says about even the bad people, the crooks in the church too

    God loves His church but he is coming for a cleansed church (Eph 5:27 KJV) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

    (2 Pet 3:14 KJV) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

    (2 Pet 2:13 KJV) And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

    (Jude 1:12 KJV) These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

    (Jude 1:13 KJV) Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

    We will not only be judged by our hearts desires but judged also by our own poor inactions on the matters too.. by even doing nothing about it you became a partaker of the theft.. abuse, etc.,

    (Prov 13:1 KJV) A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

    http://pbulow.tripod.com/pastors.html

  11. Pantheophany, thank you for the discussion. Allow me to state that I believe that economic socialism/communism is not totally unbiblical; however, I do believe that some things that we read in the bible are examples instead of commands. We understand the foot washing to be a part of the Communion service because Christ said that we ‘should’ do such things. The communal living in Acts is one example of such a life in the early Church but it is not followed by another.

    Again, I do appreciate you comments and discussion. I hope to have more with you.

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